The original Home Alone is one of those films that seems to air constantly from late October straight through to the new year, often left on as background to decorating, gift wrapping or simply vibing in the colder weather. An upcoming board game takes a more active approach by roughly translating the events of the first movie to the tabletop.
Home Alone: Keep the Change is a two to four-player board game published by the National Entertainment Collectibles Association that skips the whole first act of the film to focus on the part everyone remembers - the bumbling would-be thieves tripping their way through ever more elaborate and corporally punishing traps, from paint cans on strings to a live tarantula applied directly to the forehead.
Players split into a pair of teams at the outset of the session - one embodying Kevin while the others become members of The Wet Bandits. Young Kevin moves around the house on his turn, drawing cards from a deck consisting both of traps and valuable loot and dispersing them throughout the various rooms. Harry and Marv won’t know whether a card displays goods worth stealing or a trip down some greased stairs until the card is flipped, making every move potentially dangerous.
Traps can only be activated if Kevin is nearby, nudging that player’s strategy towards a game of cat and mouse where they must remain one or two steps ahead of their opponents. Additional effects include making the bandits discard collected loot or shortening the time before the McCallister matriarch returns home and ends the game. A fourth player can grab the shovel and iron-cold stare of Old Man Marley, joining Kevin in fending off the home invaders.
NECA has worked with designers and publishers on a number of other tie-in games for major film and television properties, including Wizkids’ Coraline: Beware the Other Mother and a party game based on A Christmas Story.
This is at least the third time Home Alone has been adapted into a board game. Arguably the first is a 1991 eponymous title from THQ that posits all players as Kevin and having them flick a move spinner to move the Wet Bandits around the house, uncovering tiles either marked as a trap or valuable. Players earn and lose points depending on how many of their coloured tiles the interlopers run into.
The second is a 2018 adaptation from Prospero Hall, best known for their work on the Disney Villainous series and Horrified. This card game more closely mirrors the competitive nature of Keep the Change by splitting players and giving them opposing goals. The cards all have the fairly adorable knitted sweater art design that’s very effective in selling the setting.
Home Alone: Keep the Change hits online retail and physical stores sometime in November, but NECA has yet to provide a price.